State of the Escape

In Gamer Escape by Gahoo

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More than 4 years ago we launched (as Eorzeapedia).  Just short of 3 years ago, Final Fantasy launched.  And yet… here we are… launching again.  While not planned, our transformation from Eorzeapedia to Gamer Escape has mirrored (albeit to a lesser degree) the transformation from Final Fantasy XIV to A Realm Reborn.  Needless to say, we’re excited about the game, about our site and about the community. So where do things stand?

Since the lifting of the NDA in June, regular everyday volunteers have been hard at “work”: creating new templates to make the wiki store information in one (and only one) place to ensure accuracy everywhere in the wiki at all times; tweaking servers and increasing monitoring so we can better recover from any outages and hopefully minimize or eliminate them altogether; creating images to make the wiki look nice and have an integrated look and feel; adding information from the beta phases so that we are hitting the ground running for open beta and release.  This was not done by robots and not done through a mass data-mining upload – it was done one edit at a time by the FFXIV community.  If there is any doubt at how incredible that is – and how strong this community is – look no further than a wiki where – before the game launches – there are more than 17,000 pages of content from more than 300,000 edits.  Edits have been made even easier thanks to the help of our Template Tutorials– a guide on how to edit the different types of pages on our FFXIV wiki. Anyway, we posted about how unique our wiki is back in June when the NDA lifted (go read it if you haven’t) so we won’t repeat ourselves again, but we’re happy to report that we’re on (or ahead) of schedule.

In addition to the amazing success of the wiki, Aetheryte Radio just celebrated its 4 year anniversary with a great giveaway, we have community members working on a regular comic strip for the site, and if you missed (or only skimmed) Anonymoose’s absolutely incredible lore summary of the 1.x storyline of Nael van Darnus, you are really missing out.

Every one of the people submitting content, whether in the form of a wiki edit, a comic, podcast, article, or otherwise, is doing so because they enjoy it and want to help out the rest of the community of FFXIV players.

That said, those that submit this content are probably on the order of .01% of the community. The vast majority of the users are passive users – and that’s OK (although getting that .01% to 1% would be great). But we still could use help from the 99.99%. If you don’t want to submit information, and you don’t want to be a supporter and toss us a buck or two a month to keep the servers running, then at least consider white listing us on your ad blockers.  We took a look at this recently, and while it comes as no surprise, more than 2/3 of the visits are blocking our ads.  That means that not only are those 66% not actively supporting the site, but they are instead actively undermining the site.  I cited to the Destructoid article before on this topic, an article which talks about how gaming sites are see gaming sites shut down or selling out.  We’ve see this first hand in our community.  FFXIVCore, Yellow Gremlin and FFXIV tactics are gone.  Recently Mooglebox announced it was shutting down and just last week it was announced that XIVDB sold out to ZAM.  So if you use the site, and have read this far, please at least whitelist us.  Also, on the note of ads, we recently changed our ad serving, so the ads should load after (or simultaneously with) the content – meaning you will not have to wait for an ad to load in order to see the content you are after.  We have also gone to great pains to make the ad placements as unobtrusive as possible (while still considering they need to be there).  When you load any page on the wiki, you will see only one banner ad at the top, which pushes content down by only 90 pixels.  The other two ads do not disturb the page layout at all – as one is under the navigation and one is in the footer.  We get inquiries by companies that want to pay us to place ads in the middle of the content area, under the page names, make text-links in the content, etc.  We’ve turned them down because we don’t like intrusive ads either, but the trade off is at least allowing the unobtrusive ones to show up on your screen.  Who knows, maybe some of them will be interesting.

Anyway, that last plea went on longer than I expected.  The fact is the site is running smooth (no crashes during the phase 4 stress test – which was a stress test for us too!) and the content is stellar and continues to grow at a great pace.  Looking forward to playing with everyone come launch!